Place of burial of the poor in San Francisco in 1889 : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

If someone was brought to San Francisco for burial in the summer of of 1889 and his widow was poor, where would he mosty likely have been buried? I am doing historical research on SF attorney Orrin S. Baker. He died at Napa asylum on July 12, 1889 but he was not buried there. His widow Sarah claimed his body and likely buried him in SF although she was impoverished. She appears in the 1889 city directory as a widow and his obituary appears in the SAN FRANCISCO CALL. She later moved to Los Angeles although Orrin is not buried with her there. Any help is appreciated.

-- Robert Scott Davis (, August 18, 2001


I bet your guy ended up in Colma.

Most of the graves in San Francisco were relocated to Colma (I say most, because there is a columbarium still out on Geary somewhere) when the city wanted the cemetary lands for development. Several large, old, cemetaries were out in Laurel Heights and the Richmond District. Even now, redevelopers find coffins that were missed.

Here are a couple of hits I got for listings of who's buried where in Colma. If you're in San Francisco, you could go down to Colma and do some sleuthing.

Gravesite links nks.htm

Mostly a listing of gravestone rubbing sites, but lots of links:

-- Rosa Debonneheure (, August 19, 2001.

The potter's field for the poor was also located at the Golden Gate Cemetery at current Lincoln Park. The problem there is that not all the bodies were removed as has been found out recently. Check out the website on cemeteries for more info.

-- A. Douglas (, August 20, 2001.

Thanks to both of you!

-- Robert S. Davis (, August 21, 2001.

Another site with Colma info:

-- Bob Verbrugge (, August 23, 2001.

There was also a "Pauper's Field" adjacent to Olivet Cemetery that was called Sunset View Cemetery. Records (keept at Olivet Cemetery) onlly date back to 1907 - but there were burials there previous to that date.

-- Judy De Bella (, August 23, 2001.

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